Canoe Poling Pole

I just saw an aluminum pole at Home Depot that looks like it may be suitable. It is a good stout diameter (around 2") and adjusts from 8 feet out to 16 feet. Home Depot has it back with the picks, shovels, axes etc. I don’t know if it is suitable or not but for $19 it may be worth a look.

Sounds like…
That sounds like an extension pole for use with a paint roller. Don’t know if it would be suitable for poling a canoe, but they are great for use with my Noah’s tarp.


It’s not a paint roller pole
…it is much larger in diameter than that. Also, it is no where near the painting equipment. I really don’t know what it is designed for and never saw one before. It is clearly for some sort of contractor’s use. I may just have to buy one and take pictures of it. Then I could ask the other polers for suggestions on necessary modifications.

Maybe a handle…
for a concrete bull float. I’ll definitely take a look. I’ve been trying to find a suitable pole here, and you can’t find fir closet rods in this part of the country any more. I sure would like to have a couple straight pieces of the thousands of feet of fir I’ve cut up into short closet rods over the years!

Thanks for the tip! Happy paddling, Regan

The best polers use a pole about an inch
in diameter or a little more, at least when aluminum is the material, and even for my big hands, 2" would be too big. You may want to find an aluminum tubing supply house, and get a 12’ length of T6061 tempered tubing.

Lendal has a super nice pole.
It’s a 3 piece fiberglass,12’. Really nice and they’re coming out with a foot for it. Only catch is that it’s $140 U.S. dollahs. But it is da bomb.

check Pnet classifieds
There is a guy in OR that is selling hand made wood poles that sound pretty interesting. If you are not interested in his poles, he might know about them.

My closet pole
from home depot is plenty strong enough for pushing my 200 lbs around. It’s a little too flexy though. When I’m pushing up against the current it tends to slip off the bottom a bit.

The T66 aluminum poles are super but gawd are they noisy.

I wouldn’t want a pole much bigger around than a paddleshaft.

My closet pole
Posted by: TommyC1 on Mar-18-05 1:05 PM (EST)

It’s a little too flexy though.

Last summer, I measured the comparative bending stiffness between aluminum (1-1/8" dia x 0.058" wall, 6061-T6) and wood (1-1/4" dia Home Depot) 12-foot poles. I supported the ends on saw horses, pulled down at the center with a medium-high-grade spring scale, and measured the deflection with a carpenter’s rule at various side loads.

The setup was maybe a little crude, mostly because I expected to confirm conventional wisdom that wood sucked.

It didn’t. With that rig, I couldn’t measure any difference in bending stiffness.

I didn’t test for failure loads.

The T66 aluminum poles are super but gawd are

they noisy.

This is the clincher for me. That and I get a fair amount of crap about me being so backward, so I’m digging in my heels.



Remember Ocam’s Razor…

– Last Updated: Mar-18-05 6:58 PM EST –

...the simplest answer is almost always the best.

I spent three hours this afternoon horsing around with my pups on the LeTort. They made sure to provide plenty balance challenges.

I poled my $100 pirogue with a 14' length of bamboo that a slightly inebriated Mike McCrea graciously harvested from the banks of the GunPowder creek. We had a grand time.

I admit to being a gear junkie, but in reality it takes very few resources to have a great day on the water.

I've narrowed poling needs down to 2 items and 1 skill:

1. A Boat: I've tried almost every boat in my fleet and though some are better than others, they all work.

2. A Big Stick: My favorite pole is a Home Depot closet rod, but my aluminum is nice, and I obviously discovered that the Bamboo also works.

3. Keep Your Head Over Your Nuts: I may have a slight advantage in that I used to have carnal knowledge of a gymnast from the University of Iowa, but even without her specialized training regime (you can't imagine how many different ways she bent), it's a simple matter of staying loose and not throwing your body out of the boat.

So, Regan … How many 1/1/4" fur closet
rods do I load on my rack for you the next time I head west?! What do you want 14 footers?

Happy Paddl’n!



Hey Mick!
Can you still get fir in your area? (!). You’re even further from the Douglas Fir forests than I am!

If you can still get 'em, I wouldn’t mind at least two, possibly three (all the better to allow for errors in experimentation!); 12-footers would be okay if more convenient, 14’s would be great. We are coming to the Rendezvous if all goes well, and could pick them up then. Email me with cost and I’ll gladly send you a check up front, plus something for your trouble. I wouldn’t have any idea what fir rod is selling for these days. Everyone here is selling poplar(bad), pine(worse), or PLASTIC(UGH!). Thanks very much for the offer; if you’re sure it won’t put you out, I will take you up on that.

Take care, and thanks! Regan